Beautiful people

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Above Ms. Diane Kruger

A cocktail at the Withney Museum, New-York, july 2012

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Ms. Sofia Coppola

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Left: Jordi Constans, will replace Yves Carcelle in 2013 as CEO of Louis Vuitton

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Mr. André and Mr. Yves Carcelle, CEO of Louis Vuitton

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Yayoï Kusama | Early works, accumulation and « self-obliteration » concept

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Meeting with Yayoi Kusama, New-Yorc City, july 10, 2012

Yayoi Kusama arrived in New-York in 1957. I’ve always been fascinated by accumulation and repetition in visual art. The works I selected here are my favorites, they are part of the exhibition set at the Whitney Museum.

From the « Infinity Nets » paintings to the « Accumulation » works (all shown below) you see the beginnings of the « dots », of the happenings and the « self-obliteration » concept. You imagine the struggle the artist had to do to make a living from her work (being an ‘outsider’, an artist and independant asian women in the seventies in NYC was not easy).

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I spent a lot of time contemplating these paintings below.

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NO.White A.Z 1958, 1959 and NO.A.B, 1959

These paintings (above) are part of « Infinity Nets » series, first exhibited in 1959 and first success of the artist in America and Europe.


Pacific Ocean, 1960

These large-scale paintings are iterations of the same gesture, obsessive and meditative, a subtle movement of the wrist.

Below, Kusama’s drawings and notes

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A letter from painter Georgia O’Keeffe admired by Yayoi Kusama


Adam Weinberg, director of the Withney museum (during the press conference)

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Above, David Kiehl, curator of the exhibition (during the press conference) and in the background M. Yves Carcelle

At the beginning of the sixties Yayoi Kusama began a new body of work, the Accumulation sculptures. The artist use her complexes and fear as subjects, the phallus or the industrially producted food (macaroni).

« I make them and make them, and then keep on making them, until i bury myself in the process. I call this ‘obliteration' » (Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Net)

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Phallic dress, c. 1968, Phallic handbag, c.1968 and Phallic shoe, c.1968

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Macaroni pants, 1968

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Untitled accumulation, 1963

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Flower overcoat, 1964

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Accumulation No. 2, 1962

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Air mail stickers, 1962

At the end of the sixties, Kusama is well exposed in the art world, but not fully accepted. The socio-political world was changing (think Vietnam, civil rights movements, the end of Swinging London, may 1968 protests in France), she must find a new way of keeping interest on her work. She started to make happenings and performative experimentation, perfectly connected with the rising hippie scene.

In 1969, Yayoi Kusama open a clothing boutique to sell her fashion designs. Most of the garment were covered with polka dots (remember the Louis Vuitton’s pop-up store?) or sexually daring.

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Kusama’s daring fashion


Naked performances

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In 1969, Kusama’s name became so connected with sex happenings and daring attitudes than her name was licensed to a pornographic tabloid, « Kusama Orgy ».

In the early 1970, über exposed, depressive and suffering from increasing pressure, Yayoi Kusama returned home and started a new era of works.